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Best application for downloading LOC and GPX files?


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I'm a newbie and in writing this I'm afraid I will start one of those World War 3 threads. So please, without getting into Dodge, Ford, Chevy arguments, can you give me some idea of the software you are using to download and track your files and what made you decide to use that software? Groundspeak lists several such as "ClayJar Watcher", "EasyGPS", "GPS Babel", "Geocashing Swiss Army Knife", etc. Any advantages, problems, cost, discussions would be appriciated. If there would be another forum that this should be posted in, please move. Thanks,



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Almost from the very beginning, I started using GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife). I tried Watcher, but GSAK does so much, I liked the convenience of having one program that could do it all. GSAK is not a free program, unless you don't mind seeing longer and longer 'nag' screens. The GSAK registration fee is reasonable considering everything the program can do.


I load GSAK with data from several "Date Placed" Pocket Queries. After filtering, slicing, and dicing the data, I send the waypoints to my GPSr. Then I Export the data for my Palm, on which I installed Cachemate ($8.00). GSAK also Exports data in the correct format for my Mapsource maps.


I still use EasyGPS, but only occasionally if I need .gpx files for the GPX Maptool on the Keen People site.

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The answer depends on how you want to geocache. I started with a Garmin (which I still use!), so I use Garmin's MapSource program to download data to my GPSr. If you don't have that, start with EasyGPS. It's free and gets the job done.



Do you print cache descriptions, or do you want to carry them on a PDA? Cachemate does a great job getting descriptions, logs, and hints to a PDA.



Some people like to carry a local copy of the GC.com database for their local area on a laptop, as an alternative to PDA caching. GSAK does a great job of maintaining that local database, although its user interface is kinda klunky.



I recommend some form of paperless caching, either with a PDA, or with a laptop. We use both. I load descriptions of all caches in the area where we are going to be caching into GSAK on my laptop, and we take that with us in the car. When we get to a site, we generally download coordinates to our GPSr and read the description from GSAK. If we have to hike to a site, then we download from GSAK to the PDA and head off. It works very well.

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I use GPSBabel. Simply because it's simple. It's a command based program with open source and I use it most often with .BAT files which call up the core GPSBabel and in seconds I have a copy:


of my waypoints on the SD Card

of my waypoints on my gps by serial transfer

of my gpx file on my Del Axim


Unzip, double click a bat file and in a few seconds I'm ready to go. That's all I really need.


GPSBabel includes a pretty good GUI with all the options mouse selectable if you're not into command line.


Here's a sample of my .bat for my daily PQ GPX:



c:\gpsbabel\gpsbabel.exe -p "" -w -s -i gpx -f "I:\1129311\1129311.gpx" -o magellan,deficon=shooting,nukewpt=1 -F com1:



c:\gpsbabel\gpsbabel.exe -p "" -w -s -i gpx -f "I:\1129311\1129311.gpx" -o gpx -F "H:\daily.gpx"



c:\gpsbabel\gpsbabel.exe -p "" -w -s -i gpx -f "I:\1129311\1129311.gpx" -o magellan,deficon=shooting -F "G:\daily.wpt"

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